Our staff's commitment to you

Our staff is committed to providing support, compassion, information, and direction as needed to all members of our community, their families, and friends who are dealing with loss and grief.

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Billy Butcher, CFSP Funeral Director/Embalmer/Owner billy@blackburnandward.com

Billy Butcher, CFSP, Funeral Director, Embalmer, and Owner of Blackburn and Ward Funeral Home, was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. He is the youngest son of Charles and Becky Butcher. Billy is a graduate of Lafayette High School and Mid-America College of Funeral Service. With over 25 years of experience in funeral service, he spent the previous 11 years as the General Manager of Kentucky Mortuary Service before coming to Blackburn & Ward. Billy is currently serving as the Central District Director for the  Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky. He also serves on several committees for the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky. Billy has completed over 180 hours of continuing education to earn the designation Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and is a Lifetime Member of the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice. Billy is the proud father of Caitlyn Butcher and stepfather of Annabel and Ellie Lewis. He enjoys spending time on the sidelines of the soccer fileds, softball fileds and gymnastic meets watching the girls do what they love. Billy also enjoys spending time skiing and being on his farm hunting with his family.  

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Leigh Ann Lewis, CFSP Funeral Director/Embalmer/General Manager leighann@blackburnandward.com

Leigh Ann Lewis is a Funeral Director, Embalmer, and the General Manager of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home. Leigh Ann was born and raised in Grayson, Kentucky. She is the youngest daughter of Gary Dickerson and Gwen Sparks Dickerson. Leigh Ann is a graduate of East Carter High School, Morehead State University, and Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. For over 15 years Leigh Ann has worked as a funeral director, embalmer and crematory operator. Leigh Ann is an active member in the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky and the National Funeral Directors Association. She has completed over 180 hours of continuing education to earn the designation Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and is a Lifetime Member of the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice. Leigh Ann is the proud mother of two young daughters, Annabel Lee Lewis and Eleanor "Ellie" Kay Lewis and proud stepmother of Caitlyn Butcher. When she is not at the funeral home you will see her driving around town taking the girls to the soccer fields, softball fields, gymnasium or at St. Leo Catholic Church and School with Annabel and Ellie.  

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Penny Baker Funeral Director/Office Manager pbaker@blackburnandward.com

Penny Baker, licensed funeral director, is a valuable resource to the organization of Blackburn & Ward. Penny has been a dedicated employee of the funeral home for over 20 years. She is the proud mother of two sons, Justin and Austin, and the wife of Kim Baker. Penny is an exceptional resource for assisting families with funeral planning, pre-need arrangements, insurance claims, monuments, veterans forms, social security assistance, and other matters which may take a burden off of the details of dealing with the loss of a loved one. Penny is most often the person at the "other end of the telephone", she is able to answer most of the questions a family may have. We are proud to have Penny as a part of our "family", she keeps us organized and on course, making the transition of losing a loved one easier for the families we serve.

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Steve Ward Funeral Director/Embalmer sward@blackburnandward.com

J. Steve Ward, retired Funeral Director and former owner of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home was born in Hazard, Kentucky. The youngest of four sons of the late Hazel Fox Ward and Judge Don A. Ward, Steve and his wife Carol (Tatman) are the parents of one son, Hank (Tracie) Ward and the grandparents of Peyton Ward. Steve is a graduate of Hazard High School, is an alumnus of the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, and Eastern Kentucky University. He is a graduate of the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science. He served as the Woodford County Coroner from 1990 to 2011. A funeral director for over 43 years, Steve was the owner of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home from 1989-2017. He was an employee of the firm for 12 years prior to purchasing the firm from his predecessor, Leslie J. Blackburn. When Steve and Carol are not out enjoying their recent retirement they are still around to help with funeral services. 

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Gary Finnell

Gary Finnell has been a vital employee of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home for over 40 years. Gary assists with visitations and funeral services and maintains a dedication to serving families with a friendly warm greeting. Gary is most often visible at our parking lot door, greeting those who call during visitations. Gary is a member of the Versailles Baptist Church, is Past Master and member of the F&AM Landmark Lodge #41, former Woodford County Magistrate, and a former volunteer for the Versailles Fire Department. Gary is married to Linda G. Finnell and is the father of Carrie Finnell (Brian) Spellman and Gina Finnell (Travis) Ziegler, and grandfather of two granddaughters, and two grandsons.

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Steve Franklin

Steve Franklin is a Woodford County High School Graduate, Veteran of the United States Army and holds an associate degree from the Kentucky School of Business. Steve is retired from Sylvania and is a Certified Crematory Operator. Steve is the proud father of three sons, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Steve assists with visitations, funeral services and cremations. Steve is dedicated to serving families with dignity and compassion. 

Billy Butcher, CFSP

Funeral Director/Embalmer/Owner
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Billy Butcher, CFSP, Funeral Director, Embalmer, and Owner of Blackburn and Ward Funeral Home, was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. He is the youngest son of Charles and Becky Butcher. Billy is a graduate of Lafayette High School and Mid-America College of Funeral Service. With over 25 years of experience in funeral service, he spent the previous 11 years as the General Manager of Kentucky Mortuary Service before coming to Blackburn & Ward. Billy is currently serving as the Central District Director for the  Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky. He also serves on several committees for the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky. Billy has completed over 180 hours of continuing education to earn the designation Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and is a Lifetime Member of the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice. Billy is the proud father of Caitlyn Butcher and stepfather of Annabel and Ellie Lewis. He enjoys spending time on the sidelines of the soccer fileds, softball fileds and gymnastic meets watching the girls do what they love. Billy also enjoys spending time skiing and being on his farm hunting with his family.  

Leigh Ann Lewis, CFSP

Funeral Director/Embalmer/General Manager
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Leigh Ann Lewis is a Funeral Director, Embalmer, and the General Manager of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home. Leigh Ann was born and raised in Grayson, Kentucky. She is the youngest daughter of Gary Dickerson and Gwen Sparks Dickerson. Leigh Ann is a graduate of East Carter High School, Morehead State University, and Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. For over 15 years Leigh Ann has worked as a funeral director, embalmer and crematory operator. Leigh Ann is an active member in the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky and the National Funeral Directors Association. She has completed over 180 hours of continuing education to earn the designation Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and is a Lifetime Member of the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice. Leigh Ann is the proud mother of two young daughters, Annabel Lee Lewis and Eleanor "Ellie" Kay Lewis and proud stepmother of Caitlyn Butcher. When she is not at the funeral home you will see her driving around town taking the girls to the soccer fields, softball fields, gymnasium or at St. Leo Catholic Church and School with Annabel and Ellie.  

Penny Baker

Funeral Director/Office Manager
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Penny Baker, licensed funeral director, is a valuable resource to the organization of Blackburn & Ward. Penny has been a dedicated employee of the funeral home for over 20 years. She is the proud mother of two sons, Justin and Austin, and the wife of Kim Baker. Penny is an exceptional resource for assisting families with funeral planning, pre-need arrangements, insurance claims, monuments, veterans forms, social security assistance, and other matters which may take a burden off of the details of dealing with the loss of a loved one. Penny is most often the person at the "other end of the telephone", she is able to answer most of the questions a family may have. We are proud to have Penny as a part of our "family", she keeps us organized and on course, making the transition of losing a loved one easier for the families we serve.

Steve Ward

Funeral Director/Embalmer
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J. Steve Ward, retired Funeral Director and former owner of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home was born in Hazard, Kentucky. The youngest of four sons of the late Hazel Fox Ward and Judge Don A. Ward, Steve and his wife Carol (Tatman) are the parents of one son, Hank (Tracie) Ward and the grandparents of Peyton Ward. Steve is a graduate of Hazard High School, is an alumnus of the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, and Eastern Kentucky University. He is a graduate of the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science. He served as the Woodford County Coroner from 1990 to 2011. A funeral director for over 43 years, Steve was the owner of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home from 1989-2017. He was an employee of the firm for 12 years prior to purchasing the firm from his predecessor, Leslie J. Blackburn. When Steve and Carol are not out enjoying their recent retirement they are still around to help with funeral services. 

Gary Finnell

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Gary Finnell has been a vital employee of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home for over 40 years. Gary assists with visitations and funeral services and maintains a dedication to serving families with a friendly warm greeting. Gary is most often visible at our parking lot door, greeting those who call during visitations. Gary is a member of the Versailles Baptist Church, is Past Master and member of the F&AM Landmark Lodge #41, former Woodford County Magistrate, and a former volunteer for the Versailles Fire Department. Gary is married to Linda G. Finnell and is the father of Carrie Finnell (Brian) Spellman and Gina Finnell (Travis) Ziegler, and grandfather of two granddaughters, and two grandsons.

Steve Franklin

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Steve Franklin is a Woodford County High School Graduate, Veteran of the United States Army and holds an associate degree from the Kentucky School of Business. Steve is retired from Sylvania and is a Certified Crematory Operator. Steve is the proud father of three sons, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Steve assists with visitations, funeral services and cremations. Steve is dedicated to serving families with dignity and compassion.